L.A. Unified maintains strong partnerships with community and non-profit organizations that bring a wealth of resources to our students and families. Some have been in place for a decade or more and exist in several school sites, such as GEAR UP 4 LA and Communities in Schools. Others are dedicated to serving just one or two campuses. Large or small, the district is thankful for the collaboration and support our partnerships bring.
Here we highlight some of our collaborative partners making a difference in schools every day.
ARC’s partnership with L.A. Unified provides high-quality, fun after school programs designed to maximize the potential of young people to succeed academically and socially. In ARC’s Comprehensive programs the daily schedule includes enrichment activities, homework help, healthy snacks, and outdoor play. Schools can also request subject-specific classes of 6 – 10 sessions customized to the school’s population and grade level. Examples are Science Explorers, Mathletes, Guitar, Comic Book 101 and Music Production. ARC utilizes data to understand stakeholders’ changing needs to tailor programs that best support school communities and bridge the opportunity gap. To learn more, visit the ARC website.
2. Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA)
BGCA offers a wealth of free and low-cost programs at centers located throughout Los Angeles. BGCA’s programmatic strategy is designed so that all Clubs, no matter their size or resources, can partner with youth, parents, schools and community stakeholders to implement at least one of three approaches: academic enrichment and school engagement; targeted dropout prevention; and intensive intervention and case management. Academic programs that support school success and college and career readiness are tailored for all grade levels. For example, elementary grades can participate in Summer Brain Gain; middle schoolers in Diplomas to Degrees, and high school students in Junior Staff, College Bound and Career Launch. To learn more, visit the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club (BGCA) website.
3. College Match
College Match is a non-profit that helps talented students from low income families in 28 partner high schools prepare for, enter and graduate from America’s top universities. School counselors identify junior year students to participate; College Match then evaluates each candidate based on their application, essay, interview and income verification. Each student is assigned a dedicated college counselor to guide them through a holistic process tailored to each child. Supports include SAT prep, tutoring, campus visits, help with essays and PIQs, and all stages of the application process. Counselors help with financial aid and scholarship applications and other needed college expenses such as laptops, dorm supplies, warm winter coats and airfares. The mentoring continues informally throughout college, as desired. College Match has trusted relationships with colleges and universities, who see their students thrive and serve as role models to others. To learn more, visit the Collage Match website.
4. CSULA Upward Bound
Funded by the U.S Department of Education’s TRIO program, Upward Bound is typically housed on university campuses; CSULA currently houses two programs: Upward Bound offers academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, ELA and foreign languages, and Upward Bound Math/Science which focuses on strengthening math and science skills aimed at preparing participants for careers in STEM. Participants in both programs commit to year-round study halls, Saturday academies, and summer programs that build a solid educational foundation and familiarity with the college campus. Upward Bound also provides enrichment activities that build social capital, SAT prep, and financial aid workshops. To learn more about Upward Bound, visit the Upward Bound website.
5. GEAR UP 4 LA
GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federally funded program that works to address challenges faced by the low income, first-generation, minority students who make up almost 50% of today’s college population. Through a competitive process, awardees receive six- or seven-year grants to provide services designed to meet this challenge.
GEAR UP 4 LA (GU4LA) consists of two grants operating at school sites in L.A. Unified. We receive approximately $5 million in federal funding every year to serve approximately 6,500 students in schools with at-risk populations. Our unique cohort model follows the same group of students for seven years. The mission of GEAR-UP 4 LA is to “…prepare students to succeed and persist in college by significantly increasing access to college readiness resources.”
The goal of the program is to prepare our students to succeed and persist in college by significantly increasing access to college readiness resources. Components of the program include a strong academic advising program, financial aid and college counseling programs for students and parents, intensive extended learning programs, professional development for teachers, early college readiness tests, concurrent enrollment programs, college visits, and near-peer mentoring programs. To learn more, visit the Gear UP 4 LA website.
6. Los Angeles College Promise
The Los Angeles College Promise provides one year of free enrollment to all full-time students graduating from LAUSD and charter high schools. Included in this program is priority enrollment, placement in Math and English courses required to succeed in college and career support and counseling. To learn more, visit the Los Angeles College Promise website.
7. Our House
Our House provides free support, resources and trained personnel for school-based grief support groups in L.A. Unified schools, helping over 700 students each year work through emotions of sadness, anger, fear and guilt. The Our House model is one of respect, nurturing, and the understanding that students’ healing process is enhanced through relationships developed in support groups. Schools are provided with a tool kit of resources and guided through the process of identifying and referring students for grief support. Groups take place on campus during the instructional day, for 10-week cycles. They are co-lead by a school counselor or Psychiatric Social Worker (PSW) (who is typically the person who initiated the referrals) and an Our House representative. Visit the Our House website to learn more.
8. Study Smart Tutors
Study Smart Tutors Inc. was founded to help schools and college access programs that prepare students for high school, college, and career success. We serve the needs of our partners by providing classes for students, training for teachers and staff, and workshops for families. Our staff remains committed to and passionate about providing college and career programming to students regardless of economic or demographic background. For additional information, visit the Study Smart Tutors website.
Research and Data
If you are interested in learning more about research and data, visit the following websites:
• L.A. Unified Guideline for Doing Research webpage
• LAERI College Going in LAUSD Research Report, August 2017
• LAERI College Readiness Supports in LAUSD High Schools: A First Look Research Report, August 2017